At the AFL-CIO 2017 Convention last week, delegates unanimously re-elected federation officers—President Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre—and the Executive Council—made up of 55 vice presidents, including BCTGM International President David Durkee.
In his acceptance speech, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre said:
Sisters and brothers, these are tough times.
For our country. For our movement. For our communities.
Between black and white. Between immigrant and native-born. But even in the face of these challenges, I have hope.
Hope of a brighter day. Hope of a stronger tomorrow. Hope of an America with liberty and justice for all. Sisters and brothers, this is a job for the labor movement!
We can bring our country together!
I pledge to do my part. To lead with my heart. To never stop fighting.
In her acceptance speech, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said:
How do we fight for good jobs when they are increasingly automated or distorted as the nation’s social compact is under relentless attack?
We have reached a tipping point—just focusing on protecting what we have is far more dangerous than taking risks.
When automation threatens millions of jobs in the not-too-distant future…we can’t afford to be cautious.
When millions of people use their power online to oust CEOs and advocate for change, we need to harness that activism and use it to build a massive movement of working people.
Together we can build the support, leadership and encouragement for more unions to get in the game, experiment and find new strategies for success.
And in his acceptance speech, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:
I am proud to stand before you and tell you we’re going to go forward toward a better day for all working people.
Our opponents are tough. They’re well-heeled and ruthless. But their deep pockets can’t overcome our deep passion for a fairer and more just nation. I say, bring it on!
America is hungry for change. Change doesn’t just happen—we will make it happen the same way our predecessors stared down the barrel of a harsh economic and political reality—and even guns—to form the labor movement.
A new day. A better day. For you, and me. Our children and grandchildren.
We’ll join together. We’ll fight together. We’ll win together, brothers and sisters, because we do the work. This is our country, and it’s high time that we took it back!